When blogger Ruth Crates told me that she flew through menopause, I asked her to write us a post to present that side of the story. Take it away, Ruth!
I think I was so busy I missed it.
Since I am now 62, and I haven’t had a period in a while, I am pretty sure it happened.
Let’s back up just a little bit…
When I reached the age where periods were probable, my mom sat down with me (briefly) and we had a talk.
What I remember most about the talk was the fact that my grandmother never told my mother about the entire process. Some subjects were just taboo in the 1930’s; this was one of them. When her first period came, she seriously thought she was going to die and was afraid to tell anyone. Luckily, her older sister intervened.
Even though Mom didn’t really give me a lot of information during the talk, she at least wanted to spare me the fear of the unknown.
She gave me a little book created by Kotex called “Now You Are 10″. It explained everything very nicely and even had a diagram explaining how to use the little belts we had to wear to hold the sanitary napkins in place. I never did get the hang of that!
Girls are always at some hormonal point in their lives. I figure we get 10 years of no worries.
Then you have: Premenstrual, Menstrual, Postmenstrual, Pregnancy, Post pregnancy, Perimenopause. Menopause, and Post Menopause. It’s the never-ending story!
I have gone through all those stages (some of them several times).
Unfortunately, now I have reached the stage which I have taken the liberty of calling “Oldness.”
I may be done with all of the above afflictions, but now there are new things like memory-loss, confusion, arthritis, joint-replacement, and the ever popular incontinence.
As for the menopause thing, I had a pretty easy time of it.
My periods were never regular except for a brief time in the 70’s when I was on “The Pill”. So I can easily dismiss that symptom.
I don’t recall a single hot flash.
I did have night sweats for a long time…. maybe even as long as 10 years, but I blamed it on my mattress.
Since my periods were irregular, they were sometimes “super-heavy” and unpredictable. I bought a rubberized bed cover to protect the mattress. I always thought that the rubber discouraged air flow and resulted in the sweats. Maybe it was actually … menopause!
This I am sure of: paranoia is a direct result of menopause.
When I turned 57, I had not had a period in several months and I began to have thoughts about being pregnant. It could happen. These thoughts took on a life of their own and I began to obsess about it.
I had several mini-panic attacks thinking I was pregnant.
I actually went to the doctor and had a pregnancy test done. My doctor, thank goodness, is a woman, so I think she sensed how disturbed my thoughts were and wanted to put these fears to rest.
Of course, the results were negative, and I was quite relieved. I guess the funniest part about this obsession is that my husband had a vasectomy 20 years earlier…. I mean, really, what were the odds!
I have always thought that obsessive and unrealistic thoughts were a side effect of menopause, at least in my case, because usually I am pretty sane.
Every woman’s menopause is different.
We should be careful not to compare our experience with others too closely. Experiencing an uneventful menopause is definitely preferable to having a difficult one.
Taking your menopausal symptoms seriously is sound procedure.
Visiting your doctor on a regular basis is just good sense. The better your doctor knows you, the better chance you both have of being able to figure out what is going on with your body. That is something we all need to be aware of no matter what time of life we are in.
Regardless of how you deal with the stages of your life… they are your Life.
Enjoy the changes and embrace each stage because there is always another one on the way!